Winning Hearts and Minds: Why Christians Are Losing the Culture War

Written by John Renken on March 15, 2013

MH900054703Matthew 22:37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

In 2009 the President of the United States of America made this declaration in Turkey, “One of the great strengths of the United States is … we have a very large Christian population — we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

If you remember the dialog afterwards, there were a lot of people really upset by the President’s comments, but the sad truth is he is right. We aren’t a Christian nation and to be brutally honest with ourselves we haven’t been a Christian nation in probably decades.

When you consider my statement, maybe there is a knee jerk reaction of denial and anger, but the truth is in the numbers. We as a nation are allowing for the wholesale slaughter of unborn children. We as a nation allowed prayer to be removed from schools. We as a nation are on the verge of allowing homosexual marriage to be institutionalized. As a nation have allowed politicians and lobbyists and special interest groups to continue to draw us further and further away from a relation with God and His standards. Are any of these things the actions of a Christian nation?

The process of winning hearts and minds takes a lot of time, trust, and consistency and it would seem those who are against God have a better understanding of this concept than we do. There is an all out war on the hearts and minds of Christians and conservatives. Many of my friends who claim to be Christians (only God can judge) have dismissed many of the claims of the Bible or have decided particular New Testament passages overrule other New Testament passages. I have spoke with people who claim to be Christians who don’t believe there is anything wrong with the act of homosexuality, or with a woman’s right to choose, or sex outside marriage, or a host of other undeniable New Testament truths.

You see, we are losing the culture war and the cost is our children. From the time our children go to school till they die their beliefs are assaulted. They are told that the Bible is wrong. They are told that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage; they are told that evolution is the process of creation and a host of other issues that affect our faith. As these children grow the seeds of doubt are planted in their hearts and through the process of becoming educated those seeds grow and eventually, by the time our children leave for college, the statistics show that the weeds have overrun the garden and they will have departed from the faith, with few returning.

Jesus spent his entire ministry winning the hearts and minds of the people through His actions and words and if we are to be successful in raising our children, engaging and changing our culture, and preparing the way for the return of Jesus Christ we must begin to do three things in the battle for the hearts and minds of our country.

First, we must be people of truth who uphold the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s word, by passionately living it through the power of the Holy Spirit and, through our actions in accordance with His word, win the hearts and minds of others. Secondly, we must be people of Grace. We should recognize that we are as desperate in our need for grace as is anyone else regardless of his or her sins. Lastly, we need to be a people dependent on God’s Spirit, submitted to Him minute by minute, who speak the truth in love when told to and are silent when told to be quiet.

In other words we need to imitate Jesus and be full of Grace and Truth as we walk out our lives leading others to Him.

A self proclaimed “scrapper” since childhood, John Renken grew up with a burning interest in physical challenges and a strong competitive spirit which has led him to develop quite an impressive reputation in the professional fighting community. Reaching the pinnacle of his career, Renken now has over 68 professional mixed martial arts and boxing matches under his belt and many first place titles spanning three different continents. A former Satanist, Renken’s life has taken many interesting twists and turns along the way to redemption. He now pastors a church called Freedom Church and writes about topics of interest in our country.